Today is the winter solstice festival, also known as Dongzhe Festival..This festival signifies the starting of winter and the start of a new year..well, am not a chinese (only 1/2 though), but the significance of this day are rather obscure previously..I knew about this from my buddy, MF..from last year, which unfortunately, a tad bit late, hence, wasn't able to prepare anything.
Well, according to my dearest sweet MF, once, this celebration was more important than chinese new year, which signifies the starting of spring. It is a humble celebration where all family members come together to prepare and eat colourful glutinous rice balls served in sweet syrup known as tangyuan during winter.
So, of coz la we prepare and eat some yay! (Feeling the winter-ness from the IBS aircond..brrrr =__=)
(Although today was a tough day where we have to do someone else's work (and he was not there to share the burden), AND A LOT PULAK TUH *sigh* SGT XBERTANGGUNGJAWAB! pekena BM bg pkcik tuh xphm!)
It was tiring, and rather time consuming (the labwork, cooking is ever the joy for me), but due to friends letting me do my work first, I manage to complete them by about 4 pm like dat and went home to prepare the tangyuan for all with the help of HF and Noly :)
Receipe - How make tangyuan (enough for 6 - 7 people)
Sweet rice flour/glutinous rice flour
room temp plain filtered water
bright pink - I use cochneal red (for the cake colouring)
pale green - I use pandanus leaves (they grew in abundance infront of my house, sure thick with plumbum)
pearly white - original colour of the tangyuan
Enough water - boiling
A pot of water flavoured with 1 bruised lemongrass, 3 pandan leaves and a few thin slice of ginger if you like..these are optional to bring out fragrance and flavour besides sugar..lotsa sugar haha
1. Bring both pots to boiling at medium fire.
2. While waiting for the pots to boil, use a big bowl, add in yer sweet rice flour and add a wee bit of water (with a pinch of salt, dissolve it well 1st k) lil by lil and mix em up. Use as much flour as you wish (shrug). But I think just now it could amount to 4 cups.
3. Use yer hands to knead em up and divide to 2 portions. I portion you juz add with a 2-3 drops of cochneal red. Knead well and observe the colouring. Adjust to your liking
4. To prepare a green tangyuan, blend 4-5 pandan leaves in a mixer and strain the well..preserving the murky green juice to be mixed with 2 cups of sweet rice flour in a different bowl. Add lil by lil (the juice I mean) and knead well.
How do you know the texture of the dough is right? It should be a lil dry, but must have a springy texture, not brittle so that when you roll them in your palm it made a nice round cute balls.
5. Roll them separately and place in a flour dusted bowl, swish it a bit to let a fine layer of flour to coat the surface of the tangyuans, this will make em not to stick to each other. Place on a tray. This is the parts where the 3 of us played at rolling alot. Its a fun activity for the whole family :)
6. Turn off the fire for the pot filled with flavoured syrup and let it cooled. This should be done in the middle of preparing the tangyuans. If your tangyuans are nearly ready, use ice cubes to cool it down more rapidly. You would like to achieve a slightly warm temperature. This is important so that the tangyuan won't become too squishy or runny when being transferred here after cooking.
7. The water in the pot should be boiling by now. Juz pour in all those round balls and let em cooked up! When they float, it means they're cooked. Simply transfer to the next pot filled with the sweet syrup huhu..and its done!
8. Serves warm :)
I'm not sure about the exact quantification for the measurings, I think you should just do trial-and-error (part of the reason was because at the moment of preparation, my buddies were doing it w/o measuring properly, so I can't vouch for the measurements coz I didn't see it mah self..agak2 je)
(credits to HF for the receipe! Thanks to HF n Noly for helping out muah2!)
Happy Winter Solstice!